Ancient Monuments

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Henge, 100m NNE of Smithy

A Scheduled Monument in Strathearn, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3482 / 56°20'53"N

Longitude: -3.843 / 3°50'34"W

OS Eastings: 286196

OS Northings: 718843

OS Grid: NN861188

Mapcode National: GBR 1H.40LN

Mapcode Global: WH4N2.YP5R

Entry Name: Henge, 100m NNE of Smithy

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Last Amended: 30 November 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7760

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: henge

Location: Muthill

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathearn

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a Neolithic (3800BC-2500BC) henge represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies in arable farmland at around 45m OD.

The henge is circular on plan with an overall diameter of about 23m. The ditch is about 2m wide, with a break for a possible entrance on its east side. Henges are ritual enclosures of Neolithic date and typically associated with prehistoric funerary practices.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.  Specifically excluded are all post and wire fences and gates.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following ways (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the past as a site dating from the Neolithic. In particular, it adds to our understanding of prehistoric society in Scotland and the function, use and development of ritual and funerary sites. This example contributes to our understanding of the plan, design and siting of prehistoric ritual and burial monuments in the Neolithic period. 

b. The monument is visible as cropmarks and we can be confident it retains buried structural and other physical attributes which makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the past. Study of aerial images demonstrates the overall plan of the monument is clear and understandable with features surviving as buried remains. There is also significant potential for the survival of buried archaeological deposits within the monument that are not visible as cropmarks. The monument can significantly add to our understanding of the meaning and importance of ritual in the Neolithic period.

c. The monument is an uncommon site type being a Neolithic henge with potential for prehistoric ritual and burial remains.

d. The monument is a good example of a henge and is therefore an important representative of this monument type. It can enhance our understanding of prehistoric society and economy, as well as the nature of burial and ceremonial practices and belief systems.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding of the past. It can tell us about the character, development and use of ritual sites, and the nature of prehistoric society, economy, social hierarchy and burial in this area of Scotland and further afield. Further research and investigation of the surviving buried remains have the potential to explain the precise chronology of this site. Such a chronological explanation may help to inform our understanding of the development of similar prehistoric sites across Scotland.

f. The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its association with other prehistoric sites in the local area.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

Henge monuments are typically circular or sub-circular on plan defined by an external bank and internal ditch arrangement. They are sites of ritual significance and typically provide evidence of prehistoric funerary practices.

This monument is defined by cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs, located on fairly level arable land. It is defined by a circular ditch with a break in its eastern side which probably represents an entrance into the henge. The overall plan of the monument is clear on aerial imagery.

Buried archaeological monuments often contain features that are not visible on aerial photographs and can have well preserved stratified layers of archaeological deposits. There is therefore potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including burial remains, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within the fill of the ditch of the henge. The monument has the potential to provide information about the function and date of the henge. Study of the monument's form and construction techniques compared with other henges would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site.

Further scientific study of this site would allow us to develop a better understanding of the nature and chronology of the site, including its date of origin, the character of the remains and the overall development sequence.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our knowledge of the past)

Henges are an uncommon class of monument across Scotland; there are only 84 henges recorded in the National Record of the Historic Environment. They are widely distributed but with a concentration on the eastern side of the country from the Borders up to Orkney. Seventeen are located within Perth and Kinross. There is only one other henge recorded within a 10km radius of this monument; North Mains, Strathallan (Canmore ID 26006) around 8km east-southeast of Smithy. North Mains was mostly excavated in 1979 with much of the archaeological remains removed. The excavation of the henge at North Mains demonstrates the archaeological potential of such sites.

There are three other prehistoric sites, Neolithic and Bronze Age in date, of ritual and funerary function in the vicinity of this monument. The closest two, also visible as cropmarks are; Findal Cottages, pit-enclosure and pit-circle 250m SW of (scheduled monument SM7725) 440m northeast and Broich, cursus, ring-ditch, barrow & palisade 600m SE of Duchlage (scheduled monument SM9135) 1.6km north-northeast. Also in the vicinity is Dornock Lodge, barrow 40m SW of (scheduled monument SM7949) 2.4km east-northeast.

There is potential to study these sites together to better understand their functions within their contemporary local communities and possible chronological development in the area. The monument has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of prehistoric society, community as well as ritual and funerary practices.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this site's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 25335 (accessed on 22/06/2021).

Wilson D R 2000. Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Tempus, Stroud.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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